Thomas Knowles was born in Ely, the son of the verger and master of works of the Cathedral. He died on 6 October 1802 and is buried at Chedburgh. He was a sizar of Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1739, became a BA in 1744, an MA in 1747 and a Fellow in 1749. In 1753 he obtained a DD from Lambeth. In 1746 he became a deacon and two years later rector of Ickworth, Suffolk and chaplain to Lady Hervey of Ickworth. From 1749 until his death he was rector of Chedburgh. Between 1752 and 1761 he was also rector of Teversham, Cambridgeshire. He was a lecturer at St Mary's, Bury 1771–1802, a prebendary of Ely 1779–1802 and vicar of Winston, Suffolk from 1791.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.